On Saturday, December 6th, Assemble’s Saturday Crafternoon program worked with artist Juliet Phillips to learn the basics of animation. We created thaumatropes, flip books, and .GIFs!

Juliet and her assistant set up three stations for the kids. At the first station, they learned about thaumatropes, or optical toys that gained popularity in the 19th century. They consist of a paper disks with images on both sides that are related in some way (such as an animal on one side and a cage on the other). When the strings on both sides of the disk are twisted, an optical illusion called the persistence of vision causes the two images to combine into one (like magic, the animal appears to be inside the cage!)

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At the flipbook table, the kids created a series of images that illustrated one complete action. In order to combine separate images into one concise action, Phillips brought light boxes for them to trace and complete their books!

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The ingenious .GIF station allowed the kids to experiment with both technology and many types of art, including performance art! They created their own moving images on an iPhone!

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It was exciting to see the kids develop stories and carry them out using different media!

For more information about Saturday Crafternoons, click here.

Blog post written by Rebecca Sufrin, one of Assemble’s Repair the World Fellows.

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